Funding for new electricity grid technology development

31 July

The Turnbull Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $5 million to NOJA Power, a Brisbane-based energy technology company, to develop smart switchgear that will help maintain stability of the electricity grid.

NOJA's new switchgear technology will be deployed at 100 locations across the distribution network to maintain frequency at 50 hertz which is critical for system strength and security. It will provide detailed, real-time snapshots of electrical flows and enable a significantly better power system data than is currently available.

The data captured by these devices will be shared with ARENA, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and energy network businesses to facilitate better-informed system planning and real-time operations.

Once developed, the switchgear will be trialled in areas of high renewable penetration in Queensland and Victoria. This is part of the Turnbull Government's commitment to supporting the energy transition while ensuring affordable, reliable and secure energy for Australian industry and households.

NOJA Power is working with AEMO, Deakin University, the University of Queensland, Energy Queensland and AusNet on this project. This project is a good example of government, industry and universities collaborating to develop solutions for Australia's distribution network.

Source: Federal Government


Fast-tracking renewable energy into the grid

31 July

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in smart solutions to fast-track the rollout of large-scale renewable energy projects in Victoria.

Solar engineering company Clean Technology Partners has received $142,000 to develop an

‘e-cube’ under the second round of the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund.

The $570,000 project will see the company work with energy giant Siemens to develop a standardised grid connection solution which will facilitate quicker and more cost-efficient connections to Victoria’s power grid.

The e-cube will allow solar and wind projects to easily connect to the distribution network and will suit a range of system sizes, connection types, and network requirements

This project will create up to 10 ongoing full-time jobs and up to a further 20 indirect employment opportunities.

The Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support projects that increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own project.

Round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund saw 21 successful projects receive more than $6.7 million in grants.

For more information on the Fund visit

Source: Victorian Government


Carnegie breaks ground on Garden Island microgrid project

1 August

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) is pleased to advise it has commenced construction of the Garden Island Microgrid Project marking the occasion with a sod-turning ceremony attended by Hon. Joshua Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Construction has commenced on the 2MW solar Photovoltaic (PV) and 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) components of the Garden Island Microgrid (GIMG) Project which is the world’s first demonstration of a solar, battery, wave and desalination microgrid. The GIMG Project will be the largest embedded, grid-connected solar and battery microgrid in Australia. Carnegie has recently signed supply agreements with the Department of Defence for the power and water produced by the Project to be used by HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base.

The Project will also integrate with the existing Department of Defence diesel generators and the Western Power grid to demonstrate both off-grid and on-grid functionality of a microgrid and ‘bumpless’ transfer between these two operating modes.

Minister Frydenberg officially broke ground on the Project after a tour of the site of the 2MW solar PV array and the building housing the 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system and control system.

Carnegie’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Ottaviano said:

“We are delighted to have Minister Frydenberg present today to officially break ground on the Garden Island Microgrid. Carnegie Clean Energy is at the forefront in the design and delivery of renewable microgrid solutions that are revolutionary.”

“Carnegie and Energy Made Clean have a strong track record in renewable and microgrid solutions like the Garden Island Microgrid at HMAS Stirling, the recently won microgrid at the Delamere weapons range base in the Northern Territory and previously for the Department of Defence on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. Renewable microgrids can deliver improved security of supply with clean, reliable power and water.”

The Garden Island Microgrid is owned and operated by Carnegie. Carnegie’s 100% owned subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, is responsible for the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of the Project. The desalination plant is already operational at the site. Construction of the solar and battery project is due to complete before the end of 2017. The $7.5 million projects is supported by the Federal Government with $2.5m of ARENA funding.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Click here to go to online project profile: Garden Island Microgrid


Generation licence applications

The Commission has received an application from Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd for an electricity generation licence in accordance with the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act). The applicant is seeking to operate a series of Tesla batteries up to a total maximum capacity of 100 megawatts. Hornsdale Power Reserve will be located at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, north of Jamestown. The application submitted by Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd is subject to a public consultation period closing on 25 August 2017. Interested parties wishing to make a submission on this licence application should prepare a submission which addresses the criteria noted above.

The Commission has received an application from Bungala One Operations Pty Ltd for an electricity generation licence in accordance with Section 15(2)(a) of the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act). The applicant is seeking to operate a generation plant consisting of 72 solar photovoltaic cells with a total maximum capacity of 110 megawatts. The location of this generation plant will be 15 km north east of Port Augusta in South Australia.

Source: ESCOSA

Click here to go to online project profiles: Hornsdale Wind Farm and Bungala Solar Farm


Tender called for Albany wave energy project

31 July

  • Tender for wave energy technology development project released today
  • Release a significant step forward for the wave energy project, which will drive employment in new industries in the Great Southern

A cutting-edge wave energy project in Albany is one step closer, with a request for proposals from industry released today on Tenders WA.

This represents a significant step forward for the State Government's $19.5 million commitment to developing the Albany wave energy project and investing in renewable energy projects in Western Australia.

The wave energy project includes a technology development project as well as the establishment of a Wave Energy Research Centre in Albany. These two elements combined will bring together State Government agencies, universities and industry to ensure that Albany's natural suitability for renewable energy is fully utilised.

The project will put Western Australia at the leading edge of the emerging wave energy technology sector and create exciting job prospects for the local community.

The request for proposal will be available on Tenders WA for three weeks, and can be accessed at

Source: WA Government


Developing solar battery storage kits and creating jobs

1 August

The Andrews Labor Government will provide $825,000 towards a pilot project to develop solar battery storage kits and create local jobs.

A consortium of five companies, led by innovation company ARVIO, will receive funding under the second round of the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund.

This project will manufacture a solar storage control system and software technology kit in Victoria, rather than using imported equipment and create 20 full-time jobs.

The $6.17 million pilot project will see 200 solar storage energy kits installed in residences, buildings and community facilities across Victoria to provide electricity during power outages.

Each kit will feature predictive weather control capabilities, allowing it to charge the battery before storms to ensure residences have adequate power for extended outages.

Solar Station Alpha, Selectronic Australia, Imark Communication and Diamond Energy are the other four companies involved in this project, with work expected to begin this September.

The Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support projects that will increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own projects.

More than 50 applications were received in round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund, resulting in 21 successful projects receiving a total of more than $6.7 million in grants.

For more information on the Fund visit

Source: Victorian Government


Two new large-scale solar farm projects for RCR

2 August

Swan Hill Solar Farm

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $28 million contract with Solar Powerstations Victoria for the 19MWdc Swan Hill Solar Farm in Victoria. Leading Australian funds manager, Impact Investment Group (“IIG”), will fund the solar farm’s construction. On completion, it will be one of the seed assets in a new IIG solar fund.

RCR’s scope of work includes engineering, procurement, construction (“EPC”) and commissioning of the Solar Farm, including associated substations and grid connection works. Construction is expected to commence in September 2017. Once commissioned, RCR will undertake maintenance services of the Solar Farm for an initial period of two years.

Emerald Solar Farm

In addition, RCR is also pleased to announce that it has signed an Early Works Letter with RES Australia Pty Limited to work together to develop an EPC contract to deliver an 80MW solar farm near Emerald in Queensland.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “these large-scale solar projects add to RCR’s substantial order book and preferred contractor status of renewable energy projects, clearly positioning RCR as the market leader and therefore first choice for this sector. Our growing capability, resources and equipment gives RCR even greater leverage to remain the foremost contractor in the solar market.

The market for large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia continues to grow and the pipeline of new projects is expanding rapidly. We see renewable energy as a long-term major sector for the Australian market and one which we will always play a significant role” said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson


Kidston solar project update

2 August

Genex has now turned its attention to the development of Phase Two of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, with detailed discussions progressing with potential energy partners, debt financing entities and equity infrastructure firms. Genex has received first-round board approval from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for potential debt funding for the Phase Two Projects. NAIF will now commence full due-diligence.

Source: Genex Power

Click here to go to online project profile: Kidston Solar Farm


ANU identifies 5,000 possible pumped hydro sites

3 August

Researchers at ANU have identified about 5,000 sites in Queensland, Tasmania, the Canberra district and in and around Alice Springs as potentially suitable for pumped hydro storage.

The ANU team has considered the possible benefits of using hydro power energy storage, where water is pumped uphill and stored to generate electricity on demand.

Professor Andrew Blakers said the sites had storage potential ranging from 0.9 to more than 100 Gigawatt-hours (GWh).

"Each site has seven to 1,000 times larger storage potential than the 0.13 GWh Tesla battery to be installed in South Australia," said Professor Blakers, the study's lead researcher from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"Additionally, pumped hydro has a lifetime of 50 years compared with eight to 15 years for batteries.

"Our work shows that there are many sites in Australia that may be suitable for establishing pumped hydro storage, to help build a sustainable, secure and affordable electricity grid.

"This assessment is based on very appealing physical characteristics. But the potential upper reservoir sites identified would require detailed due diligence involving land ownership, engineering, hydrological, environmental and other considerations."

Maps and a report on the findings are available at <>.

Professor Blakers said pumped hydro energy storage - which accounts for 97 per cent of energy storage worldwide - can be increased across the country to support high levels of renewable energy, primarily solar photovoltaics and wind.

He said the sites identified so far in the study have a combined energy storage potential of 15,000 GWh, which is 35 times larger than required to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity grid in Australia.

"Further site searching is underway in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and will add greatly to this total," Professor Blakers said.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $449,000 support for an ANU-led study, aiming to develop a nation-wide atlas of potential off-river pumped hydro storage sites.

Off-river pumped hydro storage requires pairs of reservoirs, typically ranging from 10 to 100 hectares, in hilly terrain and joined by a pipe with a pump and turbine. Water is circulated between the upper and lower reservoirs to store and generate power.

"All the potential sites we have found are outside national parks and urban areas, and like all hydro power can go from zero to full power very quickly," Professor Blakers said.

The reservoirs are separated by an altitude difference of at least 300 metres.

The water would be stored in an upper reservoir and run through a turbine to a lower reservoir when electricity is needed - such as when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The water can then be pumped back uphill when electricity from renewables and other sources is abundant and cheaper.

Co-researcher Dr Matthew Stocks said pumped hydro storage, depending on the size of the reservoirs, would be capable of delivering maximum power from hours to more than a day.

"Our earlier work demonstrated the feasibility of 100 per cent renewable electricity for Australia supported by pumped hydro storage," said Dr Stocks from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"About 3,600 hectares of reservoir is required to support a 100 per cent renewable energy grid for Australia, which is five parts per million of Australia's land mass. Annual water requirements would be less than one per cent of annual extraction from the Murray River."

Co-researcher Mr Bin Lu said pumped hydro and batteries were both likely to have prominent storage roles.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project was part of ARENA's focus on supporting flexible capacity solutions to ensure a smooth transition to a renewable energy future.

"Storage is becoming more important and valuable as we move towards higher levels of renewable energy in our grids," Mr Frischknecht said.

"Pumped hydro is the most mature form of energy storage, and studies like these are helping to determine whether it could play an even greater role in increasing grid stability."

ANU is partnering with ElectraNet and VTara Energy Group to conduct the Atlas of Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Study and develop a cost model for short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage.

Source: ANU


Conergy acquisition guarantees funding for Australian projects

3 August

Investment in Australian renewable energy projects continue to surge, with Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP) and Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc. (GSBD), a business development company managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) signing a definitive agreement to acquire Conergy Asia & ME Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries (Conergy) from Kawa Solar Holdings.

Conergy’s Australian arm has developed Australia’s first utility-scale solar and battery project – the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project – in Far North Queensland.

Conergy Australia’s Managing Director Christopher West said the company’s acquisition would ensure it had additional capital to grow substantially and further expand on its existing pipeline of large-scale solar projects.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in renewables in Australia. Unsubsidised large-scale solar is beginning to beat not only wind but also coal and natural gas and you have state governments like Queensland’s announcing really ambitious renewable targets, mirroring growing community sentiment toward a lower carbon future,” Mr West said.

“Given the political uncertainty in the sector in the last few years, many companies have struggled to find reliable sources of funds. There is a real transformation taking place in the local market and Conergy are now pitched to play a large part in it.

“The backing of our new investors who have a keen interest in renewable energy really validates our business model and expertise in solar development, guaranteeing funding to continue our plans for expediential growth in Australia.”

Conergy is currently working on a further expansion of its Lakeland Solar & Storage project, which is poised to deliver 13MW of solar generation and storage.

“We’re looking at adding up to 100MW of generation in far North Queensland as well as subsequent developments within the Lakeland project,” said Mr West.

“This project has already provided more than 60 jobs for communities in the north of Queensland, and our plans will add hundreds of construction and maintenance jobs in the future, not to mention up to 100MW of clean energy.”

Rajneesh Vig, Managing Partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners, said that this acquisition offered a unique opportunity to work closely with one of the industry’s most experienced solar firms and to participate in the Asia Pacific market.

“The Asia Pacific is one of the most attractive solar markets in the world today,” said Mr Vig.

“We look forward to the company’s continued success.”

Conergy APAC’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Lenz said this transaction brought tremendous value to their business, employees and customers.

“Over the past few years, Conergy has built leading positions in the Asia Pacific market, creating a formidable and highly competitive organisation with excellent growth prospects,” said Mr Lenz.

“TCP’s and GSBD’s extensive experience and access to capital will strengthen Conergy’s financial position, enhance our capabilities, and allow us to pursue new business opportunities and execute our plans for growth in Australia, the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and Japan.”

Source: Conergy

Click here to go to online project profile: Lakeland Solar Farm



Burdekin Solar Farm

The proposed action involves the development of a large scale, grid connected, solar power (photovoltaic) farm. The proposed action will be a 75-90 MW solar farm using solar photovoltaic (PV) tracking technology. The project will be connected into one of two local 132/66 kV terminal stations within 7km of the proposed site. The proposed action will be located within the Burdekin Shire Local Government Area, on Lot 22 on GS1042, Woodhouse Road, Mulgrave.

The proposed action is located in the northern section of Lot 22 on GS1042, Woodhouse Road, Mulgrave, Burdekin Shire Council Local Government Area, QLD. Mulgrave is a small agricultural community within the dry tropics, approximately 100km south-east of Townsville.

Current land use for the proposed action is light to moderate cattle grazing of native vegetation. Existing infrastructure on the proposed action site includes fencing, unsealed roads and internal access tracks, farm dams and a significant artificial watercourse.


Koovashni Reddy





Mt Fyans Wind Farm

Located in south west Victoria, approximately 140km west of Geelong, on the northern outskirts of the town of Mortlake. The Hamilton Highway, which runs between Geelong and Hamilton, forms part of the southern boundary of the project location. The 500kV South Australian/Victorian transmission line runs through the project site. The project will coprise of a maximum of 81 Class II/III wind turbines with a maximum height of 165m to the tip of the turbine blade in vertical position.

Contact David Mounter

Manager, Renewable Asset Development

Hydro Tasmania



Willogoleche Wind Farm construction under way

4 August

ENGIE in Australia has begun pre-construction work of the 119 MW Willogoleche Wind Farm near Hallett in South Australia’s Mid North.

The $AUD 250 million project, to be built on Willogoleche Hill about 160 km north of Adelaide and 5 km west of the Hallett township, will comprise 32 turbines that each produce between 3.4 MW and 3.83 MW.

ENGIE in Australia acting Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Donaldson, said: “Preliminary works have begun onsite, including installation of an adjacent substation to feed into the National Electricity Market. Once operational, the Willogoleche Wind Farm will produce enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes in South Australia. “The Willogoleche Wind Farm contributes to ENGIE’s global commitment to increase its share in renewable energy and provides further energy security for South Australia and the NEM.”

Installation of the turbines is scheduled to start by the end of the year, with a completion foreseen by mid-2018.

The project is underpinned by a Power Purchase Agreement to support ENGIE in Australia’s retail business Simply Energy. Simply Energy has more than 80,000 customer accounts in South Australia.

Source: Engie

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